the final excerpt from
Tj Klune's upcoming novel
The Lightning-Struck Heart
|Cover: Paul Richmond|
Expected Publication: July 20, 2015
Once upon a time, in an alleyway in the slums of the City Of Lockes, a young and somewhat lonely boy named Sam Haversford turns a group of teenage douchebags into stone completely by accident.
Of course, this catches the attention of a higher power, and Sam’s pulled from the only world he knows to become an apprentice to the King's Wizard, Morgan of Shadows.
When Sam’s fourteen, he enters the Dark Woods and returns with Gary, the hornless gay unicorn, and a half-giant named Tiggy, earning the moniker Sam of Wilds.
At fifteen, Sam learns what love truly is when a new knight arrives at the castle—Knight Ryan Foxheart, the dreamiest dream to have ever been dreamed.
Naturally, it all goes to hell when Ryan dates the reprehensible Prince Justin, Sam can't control his magic, a sexually aggressive dragon kidnaps the prince, and the King sends them on an epic quest to save Ryan's boyfriend, all while Sam falls more in love with someone he can never have.
Or so he thinks.
Get the book:
And now, for your reading pleasure, the final excerpt prior to publication:
There are moments in your life so profound, so extraordinarily crystal clear that even the remembrance of them is enough to feel like you’re being consumed by fire. Moments that might not mean much to anyone else, but mean the world to you.
I had these moments.
I was five and my mother was dancing to a song only she could hear.
I was seven and my father put his arm around my shoulders while we watched the sunset and waited for the stars to come out.
I was nine and I wished for something more.
I was eleven and Morgan held my hand for the first time.
I was fourteen when I stumbled upon a hornless unicorn and a crying half-giant.
I was fifteen when Pete whispered that his name was Ryan and he was to be a knight.
I was seventeen when I brought a bird back to life and I never told anyone about it.
I was eighteen when my mother cried and said I would always be her little boy.
I was twenty when Ryan stood at my side and my magic said finally.
And now. Now.
Now was Knight Commander Ryan Foxheart climbing slowly out of the river, water cascading down his body, dripping over miles and miles of muscle. He wore nothing but a thin, white undergarment that stuck and clung to his groin and thighs. He reached down, the muscles in his back flexing as he scooped up water in his hands and brought it up and over his head. His nipples were pebbled. His chest was covered in a smattering of wet hair. He was lines and corded muscle, definition and carved from stone. If I had let my eyes linger, I would have sworn I could see the outline of his cock through the wet fabric. My skin felt tight and flushed and I wanted. There was green and gold, and it was so fucking bright that I almost had to shut my eyes from the weight of it.
“I swear he’s doing this on purpose,” Gary whispered hotly.
“I swear I want to do him on purpose,” I breathed.
I would never have him. I knew this. It wasn’t meant to be.
But that didn’t mean I couldn’t be creepy and have this one fucking moment where I could pretend and wish and hope and dream and yes, now I had an erection and it was fucking awful.
“Do you see his stomach?” Gary murmured.
Of course I had. The thin line of hair that disappeared to his groin. The cut of the abdominals. Which were wet. Very, very wet. “I want to be the river,” I told Gary, sounding slightly hysterical. “I want to be the river right at this very moment.”
“Why is the sun setting so perfectly behind him?”
“Because the gods want to grace his shoulders with the fading light.”
“I want to grace his shoulders with my—”
I’ll never know what dirty thing Gary wanted to grace Ryan’s shoulders with. And I was totally okay with that. I was not okay with why I would never know.
“What you guys doing?” Tiggy said. Very, very loudly.
And the creepy voyeuristic bathing fantasy came to a grinding halt.
Ryan looked up.
Gary and I froze.
Tiggy cocked his head and waved.
“You okay, Sam?” Ryan asked, and his voice was husky.
So I blurted out, “I’ve got wood.”
Gary turned his head slowly to gape at me.
“Oh dear gods,” I muttered. Then louder, “Wood. I brought the wood. I’ve got so much wood. Wood. Fuck. Firewood. I’ve got firewood. For the fire. Because it’s going to get nipples out tonight. Cold. It’s going to get cold out tonight. Sweet molasses.” I bent down to pick up the firewood and stumbled, almost falling flat on my face. “Ha, ha!” I cried. “Whoops. I’m okay. Don’t mind me. Just feeling a bit weak in the knees. But not because of anything that’s happening right in front of me like thighs! No, sir. I’ve just got bad knees. But you don’t, do you? You’ve got… knees. Like. Knees. And I’ve got firewood. For the fire.” I bent down to pick up the wood, willing myself to just shut up, shut up! “Well. This has been erotic. Enlightening. Gods, this is enlightening. Like eye-opening. Nothing else!” I stood up, holding the firewood to my chest like it was supposed to block me from the glory that was Ryan Foxheart. “Oh my gods,” I whispered fervently. “I’m a Foxy Lady.”
“You’re a what?” Gary screeched.
“Nothing!” I shouted at him. “Nothing! No funny stuff. I am bringing wood for the fire and now you’re getting out of the river and why are you walking in slow motion? That’s… that’s just swell. Hell. That’s hell on, on, on your feet. Because of the river rocks.” And Ryan was smiling at me. Like I was amusing. “You’re so wet,” I told him unnecessarily.
He nodded as he stood on the riverbank. Then, never taking his eyes from me, he clasped his hands above his head and stretched his back. I immediately turned to Gary and whispered that I had a newfound fetish for armpits that I was just discovering and was quite unsure what to do with. Gary in turn said that they were obviously made for licking and I dropped the firewood again.
“Water feels good,” Ryan said. “Not too cold.”
“That’s wonderful,” I told him. “Just wonderful. I am so glad we’re both here and talking like we are right now.”
He grinned at me before turning around and bending over to pick up his discarded clothes.
“Dat. Ass,” Gary and I said at the same time.
Because it was a nice ass. Better than nice. It was a splendid ass. Superb, even.
“Bite it,” Gary whispered, pushing his head against my back. “For fuck’s sake, go bite it.”
“My mouth is not worthy,” I said.
“What was that?” Ryan asked, standing back up and looking over his shoulder. His awesome, awesome shoulder.
Gary said, “Sam wants to bite—”
“Some food,” I said, cutting in quickly. “I want to bite some food because I’m so hungry right now. And you should put on clothes.”
He looked down at himself, then back up at me. “Why? It’s just us out here.”
“And no one can hear you scream,” Gary supplied helpfully.
“We having naked time?” Tiggy asked as he started reaching for the ties on his pants.
“No!” I said. “No naked time. There is absolutely no need for naked time. In fact, we should put on all the clothes that we brought to be the opposite of naked.”
“I never get naked time,” Tiggy said with a pout.
“I’m always naked,” Gary purred to Ryan. “And you’ll have to forgive Sam. He’s a little bit… frustrated. I told him he should just go into the woods and mastur—”
“Masticate,” I exclaimed. “He wanted me to go and chew food in the woods, but I said, ‘Why? Why do that? We can just masticate here. At the camp. With ourselves. Because that’s what normal people do.’”
“Riiiight,” Gary said. “Maybe you and Ryan can masticate together?”
“Or not,” I said as I ground my teeth. “I like to masticate by myself.”
“And you’re so good at it,” Gary said. “The up and down motions of your… jaw. And then, upon completion, you swallow. Right, Sam? You swallow, don’t you?”
“Of course I do,” I said, confused. What the hell were we talking about now? “I always swallow when I finish. What am I supposed to do? Spit it back out?”
Ryan tripped and fell back into the river.
We all stared at him.
He sputtered as he came out of the water. “Tripped.” He coughed. “On a rock.”
“Or something that rhymes with rock,” Gary said.
“You tripped on your sock?” I asked him.
Gary said, “I just don’t even know why I bother anymore. Tiggy, darling. Let’s let the mens take care of dinner. You and I can have naked time and frolic in the river now. Lose the britches. It’s time to make the humans feel inadequate.”Tiggy crowed his pleasure as he dropped his pants.
Are you ready for this book, or what??? Pre-order it now, and read it as early as July 20, 2015!
About Tj Klune:
When TJ Klune was eight, he picked up a pen and paper and began to write his first story (which turned out to be his own sweeping epic version of the video game Super Metroid—he didn't think the game ended very well and wanted to offer his own take on it. He never heard back from the video game company, much to his chagrin). Now, two decades later, the cast of characters in his head have only gotten louder, wondering why he has to go to work as a claims examiner for an insurance company during the day when he could just stay home and write.
1 signed paperback copy of The Lightning-Struck Heart,
1 signed paperback copy of The Lightning-Struck Heart,
plus a $50 Amazon giftcard (world-wide)
2 additional winners will receive 1 signed paperback of
The Lightning-Struck Heart (world-wide)
Thank you for joining us today and sharing in our excitement for Tj's upcoming release.
Until next time, happy reading!
Our gratitude to Tj Klune for allowing us to share this excerpt exclusively on our blog. All materials from the book were provided by the author.